Economic Outlook Conference: Slower U.S. growth predicted in 2013
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Friday, December 14, 2012
12/14/12 at 4:27 AM
J.P. Morgan Chase's chief economist said Thursday that the nation's economy should keep improving over the next year, but the pace will slacken.
"You have to accept the reality that things will be a tad slower in 2013 relative to 2012," Anthony Chan said Thursday during his keynote address at the annual Economic Outlook Conference, sponsored by the Tulsa Regional Chamber and Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business.
Chan's caution about slowing growth was echoed by Jim Fain, professor and head of economics and legal studies at the OSU Spears School in Stillwater, and Bob Ball, economist at the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
Ball noted that overall employment in the Tulsa area is expected to grow by 7,690 jobs in 2013, or a 1.8 percent increase. That's slower than the 2.5 percent improvement projected through the end of this year.
Income growth will also slip, with a projected 4.8 percent growth in Tulsa compared to 6.8 percent this year, Ball said.
"Last year we were forecasting income growth of under 5 percent for 2012, so we're still doing quite well," he said.
Fain said Oklahoma experienced a 2.7 percent increase in employment during the first three quarters of the year, which was the second-highest percent increase in the nation. Tulsa had the 90th best employment growth rate out of the 372 largest metro areas, while Oklahoma City placed 31st and Lawton was No. 371.
However, when looking at just the third quarter, Oklahoma's unemployment growth slowed to just 0.2 percent, or the 23rd highest in the nation, Fain said.
Construction and "administrative waste management" are expected to be the sectors that will experience the most growth in the state next year, according the outlooks presented Thursday at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center. Although energy should remain strong, the mining sector, which includes energy exploration and production, is slated to shed 1,000 jobs, the most of any state in the nation.
Chan predicted the nation's economy will grow by 2 percent next year.
Good signs abound, with retail sales this holiday season evidently outpacing last Christmas, Chan said, adding that consumer and small business confidence is improving, and housing prices are starting to rise, encouraging more home sales.
"People were waiting to know that housing prices wouldn't decline further," Chan said.
Chan, Ball and Fain's forecasts all had one thing in common - they assume the "fiscal cliff" will be averted. Should a disagreement over how to resolve the automatic Jan. 1 tax increases and spending cuts drag on in Washington, the economy could be pulled down with it.
"If we go over the cliff and do a Thelma and Louise, we'll lose 4.3 percent economic growth," Chan said.
Original Print Headline: 2013 Outlook
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
Anthony Chan, chief economist at J.P. Morgan Chase, speaks Thursday at the Economic Outlook Conference. JOHN STANCAVAGE/Tulsa World
Jim Fain (left) and Bob Ball: Chan's caution about slowing growth was echoed by Fain, professor and head of economics and legal studies at OSU in Stillwater, and Ball, economist at the Tulsa Regional Chamber